Discover a burst of flavors, textures, and experiences as you taste your way through Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley this fall. Harvest activities abound around Albany and they’re literally ripe for the picking for anyone seeking farm-fresh food and adventure.
Farmers’ markets overflow with vine-ripened produce and fresh tree fruit—not to mention flowers, honey, cheese, bread and nuts, plus locally-made preserves, relishes and chutneys.
Farm stands, you-picks and mazes dot the winding roads that cross over streams and through charming covered bridges. Pack a picnic to complement what you pick up on your adventure, bring a bucket, a good hat and sunscreen and make a day of it.
Tip: you’ll want to bring cash for the treats you find off the beaten path as some places do not accept cards. Rounding up will score you a smile and maybe even an extra item or two to make a baker’s dozen of your favorite farm-fresh treat. From heirloom vegetables to the stories behind them, these farm-direct connections make a trip through the valley an experience for your stomach and your soul.
Looking for a bit more direction? The Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail offers an ample list of local farms, restaurants and businesses, including suggested itineraries and even a passport with the opportunity to win prizes. Bring your binoculars; you never know what birds or other wildlife you might see along the way and there are plenty of places to stop and appreciate the beautiful autumn countryside.
If craft brews are more your thing, join the locals at The Albany Beer Run, an annual 0.3K fun “run” with music and outstanding beers at both ends of the course. While the event is set for September 11, practice makes perfect and competitors are encouraged to take the route multiple times per year.
For a quintessential fall outing, take home some delicious fresh cider from apples that you pressed yourself at Midway Farms and Thompson’s Mills. Cider pressings at the Mill will happen September 18, October 9 and October 30. Midway Farms will post their pressing dates soon and you can find all area events at the Albany Visitors Association website.
Travel Tip: Call ahead for current COVID-19 rules and restrictions, check the Calendar of Events at the Albany Visitors Association website, or call 541-928-0911 for updates.